Abortion Courts Health

Federal Judge Allows Abortions in Oklahoma to Resume Despite COVID-19 Ban

U.S. District Judge Charles Goodwin has just issued a preliminary injunction against Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s attempted abortion ban, and is allowing all abortion services to resume on Friday, April 24.

According to a release by the Associated Press, “the injunction ensures that abortions can be performed in Oklahoma while the case continues in federal court” and is able to replace the “temporary restraining order that [Judge Goodwin] issued last week that allowed most abortions to continue.” AP notes that Stitt’s attempted ban comes “as part of a prohibition on elective surgeries aimed at preserving personal protective equipment, such as surgical masks, gowns and gloves, during the public health crisis.”

Stitt’s actions are not isolated, as governors all across the country have been addressing the public health crisis by halting nonessential procedures in order to ensure that they are able to care for an influx of COVID-19 patients. Red states in particular have decided that abortions should be included under that umbrella mandate, ignoring the essential nature of abortion related care and services.

According to Brandon Hill, president and CEO of Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, “Abortion is essential, time-sensitive medical care that should not be caught in the crosshairs or political agendas, especially during a public health crisis.” Reproductive health, wellness, and justice groups like Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, as well as local lawyers, have been challenging these abortion bans in court in order to advocate for the essentiality of abortion services.

Sources; ABC News 4/21; Associated Press 4/21; The Oklahoman 4/22

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